Toronto municipal election, 2018

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ctrl190
Toronto municipal election, 2018

Ontario's municipal elections are only four months away, including The Big Smoke.

So far there are no major progressive candidates in the running for mayor. There are murmers that big names like Mike Layton or Kristyn Wong Tam are waiting until 2022.

The ward map has been reconfigured, including three new downtown wards, which could hopefully lead to a left-ward tilt on the council floor.

Some high profile progressive candidates include TDSB trustees Chris Moise and Ausma Malik and former NDP MPP Matthew Kellway. Long time left wing councillor Janet Davis said she will not run again. 

 

ctrl190

Former Toronto federal NDP candidate Jennifer Hollett is running in the new Ward 28.

robbie_dee

Well this rules out one possible high-profile challenger for John Tory.

David Nickle, "Former Toronto councillor Shelley Carroll running for her old job," Toronto Star, July 6, 2018

robbie_dee

And now here comes chaos:

Sources: Ford to slash Toronto city council to 25 from 47 before fall election (Toronto Star)

The deadline to file for election is currently set for tomorrow, and many candidates have been campaigning for months under the current boundaries.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Wow!

robbie_dee

Jennifer Keesmaat to run for Mayor of Toronto (Toronto Star)

 

Quote:

Former Toronto chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat is running against John Tory to be mayor of Toronto.

“I am,” Keesmaat told the Star when asked if she is running for mayor as she joined a line of people lined up to register for council at Toronto city hall.

Keesmaat had previously resisted enormous pressure to challenge Tory as a downtown progressive voice.

Her move comes after Premier Doug Ford said he will unilaterally cut the size of Toronto council to 25.

WWWTT

That a boy Dougy! Straight back to hating Toronto again just like Mike Harris. 

What about all those mayors and councillors in the region of Peel? Oh ya right, still too many conservatives in Peel to mess with hey?

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Patrick Brown quickly announced he was running for mayor of Brampton, after Ford dashed his chances of running for a regional chair. 

Local politicians are clearly cockroaches to Ford, and he will do his best to stamp them out.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Is there a way to challenge Ford's move to cut the council size as a violation of the Charter?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Is there a way to challenge Ford's move to cut the council size as a violation of the Charter?

Absolutely not. Municipalities in Canada are totally creatures of the provinces in that they are created by provincial statute, and can at any time be abolished by provincial statute. Any provincial government could abolish local democracy completely and perform the functions by centralized bureaucracy and the Charter would never come into play at all.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:

The surprise moves, which were never broached during last month’s provincial election campaign, come as the deadline for candidates entering the Oct. 22 municipal election looms at 2 p.m. on Friday.

“This is something the premier wanted to do even when he was on council,” said a senior government official, referring to the one term Ford spent at Toronto city hall between 2010 and 2014.

Huh.  Well, looks like he maybe always wanted to do it, and also looks like maybe he quite literally chose the last possible moment to do it.

Not sure it totally makes sense, though.  Not just because "fewer Councillors" but because ridings are drawn up to hopefully comprise a reasonable and consistent number of electors for a Provincial election, but that doesn't necessarily translate into the right number of constituents for a ward.  And if the boundaries are the same as for Provincial elections, I wouldn't like to see this herald a new dawn of Provincial and Municipal "melding" in the minds of the electors.  I don't think we really need wards to be "PC" wards or "Liberal" wards or "NDP" wards.

WWWTT

progressive17 wrote:

Patrick Brown quickly announced he was running for mayor of Brampton, after Ford dashed his chances of running for a regional chair. 

Local politicians are clearly cockroaches to Ford, and he will do his best to stamp them out.

Brampton for some reason is a magnet for terrible mayors. It’s a curse!

progressive17 progressive17's picture

The calculation on amalgamating the 416 is that Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough would always outvote Toronto, making for more right-wing majorities on council, and more right-wing mayors. The election of Rob Ford seems to prove that that worked.

Once the cities get smaller, it is much easier for Conservatives to walk away with the whole thing, except maybe a riding around the university and where the apartment buildings go. Once the city gets down to 200,000 or so, it can go totally blue, as in the Prairies.

ctrl190

It looks like a lot of ally councillors could run against eachother. For instance, Paula Fletcher and Mary Fragedakis in Toronto-Danforth, and Gord Perks and Sarah Doucette in Parkdale-High Park.

Does one candidate resign? Do they both run against one another?

quizzical

Judge ruled against Ford's actions.

congrats Toronto peoples.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Yes, I found the ruling quite shocking. It would seem that it depends on the timing. If Ford had let this election be completed, then passed his new law, with a view to the following election, the result would most likely have been different. Of course, there is always the possibility the Court of Appeal may reverse this judgment.

Mobo2000

Summary of the ruling from press progress here:

http://pressprogress.ca/10-most-damning-quotes-from-the-court-ruling-str...

Apparently there will be a press conference around 2 where Ford will announce his response, there is some speculation he will indeed invoke the notwithstanding clause.

 

Mobo2000

... and he indeed will invoke the notwithstanding clause, and threatens that it may not be the only time he'd use it!

https://lfpress.com/news/decision-expected-today-in-toronto-council-lega...

Bacchus

And use it he has. Everyone still happy about that clause available?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Bacchus wrote:

And use it he has. Everyone still happy about that clause available?

Well, I was unhappy that PET was forced to make that concession when he repatriated the constitution, but without it, we would have no Charter of Rights at all.

voice of the damned

Bacchus wrote:

And use it he has. Everyone still happy about that clause available?

Has there ever been a lot of support for the Notwithstanding Clause on babble, or for that matter, the left generally? I suppose some progressives who endorsed Quebec's language laws might have been happy when Bourassa invoked it back in 1988, and if they were, they can't complain now about Ford doing the same thing.

But other than that, I don't recall a lot of progressives praising Section 33. Most people, myself included, seem to share Moriarty's view.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I suppose some progressives who endorsed Quebec's language laws might have been happy when Bourassa invoked it back in 1988, and if they were, they can't complain now about Ford doing the same thing.

As I understand it, Bourassa eventually "uninvoked" it anyway (though I'm sure there was a brief period of chest-thumping and champagne for some).

voice of the damned

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I suppose some progressives who endorsed Quebec's language laws might have been happy when Bourassa invoked it back in 1988, and if they were, they can't complain now about Ford doing the same thing.

As I understand it, Bourassa eventually "uninvoked" it anyway (though I'm sure there was a brief period of chest-thumping and champagne for some).

Yes, it's the period of chest-thumping and cork-popping that's pertinent. If you're a progressive who thought in '88 that the invocation was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and/or now wishes that it had never been reversed, you have to accept Doug Ford's right to do the same thing.  

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Yes, it's the period of chest-thumping and cork-popping that's pertinent. If you're a progressive who thought in '88 that the invocation was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and/or now wishes that it had never been reversed, you have to accept Doug Ford's right to do the same thing.

What if I think Bourassa was solving the most important problem of his time -- "Pasta" signs -- but Ford is just using a giant legal sledgehammer to kill a fly he has a grudge with?

Why can't I have my cake, and eat it too?

voice of the damned

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Yes, it's the period of chest-thumping and cork-popping that's pertinent. If you're a progressive who thought in '88 that the invocation was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and/or now wishes that it had never been reversed, you have to accept Doug Ford's right to do the same thing.

What if I think Bourassa was solving the most important problem of his time -- "Pasta" signs -- but Ford is just using a giant legal sledgehammer to kill a fly he has a grudge with?

Why can't I have my cake, and eat it too?

Well, I just saw where John Tory has said that the Notwithstanding Clause exists for "extraordinary circumstances". by which he presumably means to exclude Ford's desire to shrink council.

Though, unless I'm misremebering my last reading of 33, I don't recall it saying anything about extraoridnary circumstances. As far as I know, that's up to the legislatures to decide.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Well, I just saw where John Tory has said that the Notwithstanding Clause exists for "extraordinary circumstances". by which he presumably means to exclude Ford's desire to shrink council.

I'm not at all in favour of Doug's little vengeance oath -- even as I don't fully understand what he's so mad at Toronto for, other than perhaps having some bike-loving "lefties" on council who used to oppose his Sainted Brother.

But I also don't fully understand what Tory means by "extraordinary circumstances".  Those peculiar circumstances in which the only way to ensure our survival is to ignore the judiciary interpretation of the Charter?  I agree with him that this is not the kind of problem that the "nothwithstanding clause" was meant to address, but I guess I don't share his understanding of what kind of problem it WAS meant to address.

voice of the damned

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Well, I just saw where John Tory has said that the Notwithstanding Clause exists for "extraordinary circumstances". by which he presumably means to exclude Ford's desire to shrink council.

I'm not at all in favour of Doug's little vengeance oath -- even as I don't fully understand what he's so mad at Toronto for, other than perhaps having some bike-loving "lefties" on council who used to oppose his Sainted Brother.

But I also don't fully understand what Tory means by "extraordinary circumstances".  Those peculiar circumstances in which the only way to ensure our survival is to ignore the judiciary interpretation of the Charter?  I agree with him that this is not the kind of problem that the "nothwithstanding clause" was meant to address, but I guess I don't share his understanding of what kind of problem it WAS meant to address.

Actually, I think the problem the NWC was meant to address was, quite simply, the problem of goverments having to obey Charter rulings they don't want to. Because that's about the only thing gleanble from a reading of the text. It's not as if the text says "This is for cases where the courts are stomping on language laws, or trying to stop teachers from talking about Jesus in the classroom". The criterion is simply that governments don't want to follow a particular decision of the court. 

And as such, Ford's agenda fits the bill quite nicely. The courts made a Charter ruling, he doesn't like it, Section 33 is on-hand to remedy that problem.

Now, whether the electorate will apporive of him invoking 33, and give him the chance to renew that invocation when it comes due five years from now, is another question.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Actually, I think the problem the NWC was meant to address was, quite simply, the problem of goverments having to obey Charter rulings they don't want to.

I'd be interested to hear anyone else's contrary interpretation.

Quote:
It's not as if the text says "This is for cases where the courts are stomping on language laws, or trying to stop teachers from talking about Jesus in the classroom". The criterion is simply that governments don't want to follow a particular decision of the court. [/quote[

Again, agreed.  But it's also not as though the text says "this is for those times when a bunch of malcontents want to stop you from doing what you want to do" or "this is for those times when everything's gone willy-nilly and suddenly someone having to pay a parking ticket has been unfairly discriminated against for backing his car up against a fire hydrant".

I'd say it was always intended as a parachute, for some province, but maybe it's more like a jet-pack.

"Fly away on your magical wings because this Charter issue shouldn't apply to you and your special circumstance!"

kacey_cyborg kacey_cyborg's picture

i think the "extraordinary circumstances" tory refers to are that a government should normally be afraid of a backlash from the electorate when using nwc; and thus use it only where absolutely necessary to maintain or impose a vital interest (as defined by the invoking party.)

unfortunately, this is something not really applicable here in large part because ford's majority is so fresh - even if ontarians as a whole are disgusted by this move; will they really remember it so freshly by the time of the next provincial election? especially outside of toronto?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

According to Wikipedia (and my own memory agrees) it went down like this:

Wikipedia wrote:

The idea for the clause was proposed by Peter Lougheed as suggested by Merv Leitch.[4] The clause was a compromise reached during the debate over the new constitution in the early 1980s. Among the provinces' major complaints with the Charter was its effect of shifting power from elected officials to the judiciary, giving the courts the final word. Section 33, in conjunction with the limitations clause in section 1, was intended to give provincial legislators more leverage to pass law. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau at first strongly objected to the clause, but eventually consented to its inclusion under pressure from the provincial premiers.[5]

This seems to support votd's contention that " the problem the NWC was meant to address was, quite simply, the problem of [provincial] goverments having to obey Charter rulings they don't want to."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Bacchus wrote:

And use it he has. Everyone still happy about that clause available?

Well, I was unhappy that PET was forced to make that concession when he repatriated the constitution, but without it, we would have no Charter of Rights at all.

Alan Blakeney the NDP Premier of Sask made it a deal breaker. I took a seminar course from him and when I asked him to explain it he invoked his Scottish heritage. The courts should not have the final say over parliament. It was a fundamental principal for him. However the idea of the Not Withstanding clause is you have to annouce to the nation that you don't care about the Charter you will rule as if it doesn't exist. As well it sunsets so future governments have to again say we don't give a fuck about that right. It was a tough compromise but if our courts get as corrupt as the ones to the south of us we will be glad they don't have the ultimate power to decide on what our rights are or are not.

kacey_cyborg kacey_cyborg's picture

i guess it's technically possible to have the federal government invoke nwc to over-ride the ford bill 5 replacement right?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

kacey_cyborg wrote:

i guess it's technically possible to have the federal government invoke nwc to over-ride the ford bill 5 replacement right?

No, not really. The areas of jurisdiction of the federal and provincial governments are set out in the constitution. For example, criminal law is exclusively federal jurisdiction, and contract law is exclusively provincial, as is municipal government. The nwc does nothing to change this division of jurisdiction. Rather, it gives both federal and provincial governments the right to pass legislation within their own areas of jurisdiction even though that legislation contravenes a provision in the Charter of Rights. The 2 concepts are orthogonal as the mathematicians would say.

kacey_cyborg kacey_cyborg's picture

ahh ok. and i guess the good government part of pogg is too general..

the lieutenant governor could always refuse royal assent, tho, no?

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

kacey_cyborg wrote:

ahh ok. and i guess the good government part of pogg is too general..

the lieutenant governor could always refuse royal assent, tho, no?

Yes. The peace, order and good government expression has generally been interpreted as assigning to the federal government any areas that are not clearly given to the provinces, although your suggestion that this case is specifically a matter of "good government" is an interesting one.

The lieutenant governor could theoretically refuse royal assent, and this is a federal appointment, so Ford could not fire the current one and appoint a replacement. However, this would precipitate a constitutional crisis with unpredictable results.

quizzical

not a constitutional crisis already?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

quizzical wrote:

not a constitutional crisis already?

In my opinion, because the use of the notwithstanding clause is specifically provided for in the constitution, it does not rise to the level of constitutional crisis, such as the King-Byng Affair.

voice of the damned

Magoo wrote:

I'd say it was always intended as a parachute, for some province, but maybe it's more like a jet-pack.

"Fly away on your magical wings because this Charter issue shouldn't apply to you and your special circumstance!"

Well, it's kinda like a law saying "Schools set the curriculum, but if parents don't like it, they can pull their kids out of school and totally ignore the curriculum." And then someone asks whether this was meant only for "extraodinary circumstances"(eg. the government introduces holocaust-denial lessons into social studies class, Jewish parents object), or if anyone can pull their kids out for any reason whatsoever(including flat-earthers who don't like Copernican science textbooks).

I don't see much reason to assume it was intended solely for the former purposes, and even if it was, nothing in the text tells us what the writer considered to be extraordinary. So you don't really have any legal basis for dragging the flat-earthers into court.

kacey_cyborg kacey_cyborg's picture

Michael Moriarity wrote:

[...]

The lieutenant governor could theoretically refuse royal assent, and this is a federal appointment, so Ford could not fire the current one and appoint a replacement. However, this would precipitate a constitutional crisis with unpredictable results.

right. i wasn't trying to suggest it would be a likely play, more just trying to think thru possibilities -- i used to know all this stuff cold, but i am out of practice thanks to years of adulting mindlessly

NDPP

Demeaning Democracy: Turning  Doug Ford's Attack on Toronto into a Movement For Democratic Renewal

https://socialistproject.ca/2018/09/demeaning-democracy/

An Open Letter About Bill 5 Better Local Government Act

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Here is an excellent analysis of this case by a U. of Ottawa law prof. Her lede:

Carissima Mathen wrote:

Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about Justice Edward Belobaba’s decision striking down the law that reduces the size of Toronto City Council, is that it is not the most extraordinary thing to have happened Monday. That honour goes to Premier Doug Ford, who not long afterwards said he plans to use the Charter’s notwithstanding clause for the first time in Ontario history. In doing so, the Premier raised real concerns about his government’s respect for the rule of law. He appeared to question the idea that everyone, elected officials and their governments included, is accountable to the law.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

So...is the ruling the end of it, or does the law go into effect anyway?  

NDPP

Ford's intention is to proceed using the notwithstanding clause to overrule the court decision.

voice of the damned

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Here is an excellent analysis of this case by a U. of Ottawa law prof. Her lede:

Carissima Mathen wrote:

Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about Justice Edward Belobaba’s decision striking down the law that reduces the size of Toronto City Council, is that it is not the most extraordinary thing to have happened Monday. That honour goes to Premier Doug Ford, who not long afterwards said he plans to use the Charter’s notwithstanding clause for the first time in Ontario history. In doing so, the Premier raised real concerns about his government’s respect for the rule of law. He appeared to question the idea that everyone, elected officials and their governments included, is accountable to the law.

The writer seems to be saying that Ford has an inadequate understanding of the relations between politicians, the judiciary, and the public,  hence his rationale for invoking 33 is invalid. But I don't see anything in her essay that refutes the argument that he has the legal right to invoke 33.

Back to my eariler comparison, I can write a twenty page thesis about why flat-earthers are wrong about the shape of the planet, and incorrect in their assumptions that science-teachers are all part of an evil plot to dethrone mankind from his central place in the universe. Doesn't change the fact that the law, as written, gives any parent who wishes to pull their kid from science class the right to do so.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

The writer seems to be saying that Ford has an inadequate understanding of the relations between politicians, the judiciary, and the public,  hence his rationale for invoking 33 is invalid. But I don't see anything in her essay that refutes the argument that he has the legal right to invoke 33.

Back to my eariler comparison, I can write a twenty page thesis about why flat-earthers are wrong about the shape of the planet, and incorrect in their assumptions that science-teachers are all part of an evil plot to dethrone mankind from his central place in the universe. Doesn't change the fact that the law, as written, gives any parent who wishes to pull their kid from science class the right to do so.

I think the writer and I both agree with your first paragraph. Your description of her main point matches my own perception of it. But I found the article worth reading because it told the whole story from an expert constitutional law point of view, while including the broader political and social considerations that anyone who wishes our system to succeed in preserving people's rights needs to bear in mind.

voice of the damned

the broader political and social considerations that anyone who wishes our system to succeed in preserving people's rights needs to bear in mind.

Well, I would assume that Doug Ford isn't one of the people who wishes our system to succeed in preserving people's rights.

I guess what caught my attention was the headline of the editorial assuring us that Doug Ford's powers are not "limitless", but upon reading the article, the writer doesn't seem to demonstrate that his power isn't limitless, at least insofar as his right to invoke 33 is concerned.

voice of the damned

Andrew Coyne in the Post...

...This is the insoluble paradox of the notwithstanding clause: The governments most likely to use it are the ones who can least be trusted to do so.

At any rate, the comparisons to Donald Trump look a whole lot more convincing after Monday’s performance. Ford’s more moderate colleagues, the ones whose presence in cabinet was supposed to be a reassuring check on Ford’s instinct for chaos, will need to search their consciences today.

But so should those liberal-minded types, well represented in the law faculties and the civil service, who have spent the last few decades concocting soothing rationales for the notwithstanding clause as a sort of prophylactic against charter abuse — it “implicates” the legislatures, and so on. It has always struck me as more in the nature of an unexploded bomb. In Ontario, it just went off.

I'm gonna say that Coyne is being overly optimistic about the chances of anyone in Ford's caucus doing much soul-searching about all this. I do agree that if you are someone who had defended the NWC in the past, you cannot now totally divorce yourself from what Ford is doing.

 https://tinyurl.com/y9gfb9mp

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I certainly don't agree with what Ford is trying to do -- and I say this as a Torontonian -- but it also seems to me that it should be self-evident that you cannot totally change the rules and boundaries and ridings of an election already in progress, any more than you can change the rules of a marathon after the runners have been running for an hour.

So it's unfortunate that the only evident remedy to stop Ford should be an appeal to everyone's "Charter right" to more councillors, for some reason.  I feel like maybe the Charter was originally adopted to ensure something more than my "right" to not be one of 100,000 constitutents rather than one of 50,000 constitutents.

I would rather the Charter not become the legal instrument of choice for everyone to get whatever it is they want by molding it into a "right" simply because "notwithstanding" a Premier invoking "notwithstanding", it's a shoo-in.

To be clear, I'm not talking about the right to, say, equal marriage.  I'm just not looking forward to the day when we all have a Charter right to bring our "service llama" on the streetcar, or the Charter right to a "raw food" option in the cafeteria or the Charter right to a doctor who observes the same faith we do.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

voice of the damned wrote:

the broader political and social considerations that anyone who wishes our system to succeed in preserving people's rights needs to bear in mind.

Well, I would assume that Doug Ford isn't one of the people who wishes our system to succeed in preserving people's rights.

Correct. I consider Ford to be criminal scum, who would be most happy as a mob boss.

Bacchus

I thought mob boss was essentially how all political leaders were seen?

Pogo Pogo's picture

I think the view on babble before today was that the provincial government had absolute power over municipalities (how many times has the BC Liberals/Socreds fired school boards).  So it is a bit of a shock to me that the court decided that this was a bridge too far. Then to have the government reach for the notwithstanding clause (do they have to recall the Legislature, is it a cabinet decision or can Ford just send out a tweet?).  Such a crazy state of affairs that it makes me wonder if it is diversion and Ontario residents are going to turn around tomorrow and find that some one picked their pocket.

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